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Disputed Custody Studies

Should you decide to litigate your divorce and custody arrangements instead of using the Collaborative Lawoption, you and your attorney may request or the court could order that a social study be completed to determine which home will be the primary home for your children.

I offer my services as a Social Study Investigator for co-parents involved in the litigation process. My services are typically court ordered. I meet the current legal requirements for completing Social Studies in the state of Texas. My years of experience allow me to provide thorough, efficient and expeditious services.

The purpose of a Disputed Custody Social Study is to assess the fitness of each parent in a disputed custody. The Social Study attempts to determine what is in the best interest of the children in regards to primary residence. It is the role of the Social Study Investigator to gather all of the information necessary to present a thorough report to the court.

Information is gathered by conducting three home visits, completing interviews with you, your spouse/significant other, your child(ren) and anyone else living in your home, gathering financial data, completing reference questionnaires and criminal and sexual offender background checks.

Collecting all the documents for the home study can be time consuming, however, it is essential in providing a thorough report. The average amount of time it takes to gather all of the necessary paperwork for the visit is usually about 8 hours. Items such as marriage license(s), divorce decree(s), birth certificates, military records, tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements, stocks and bonds reports, school records, and physician statements of health are many of the items required. A Release of Confidentiality is signed in order for the investigator to speak with anyone involved in the child’s life; including, but not limited to, teachers, clergy, therapists, daycare providers, nannies, relatives and any other important individuals in the child’s life.

You can expect each home visit to last approximately two to three hours. Everyone that resides in the home 25% of the time or more should be present for the home visit. A Disputed Custody study can take at least eight weeks to complete and in some instances may take longer. The final report contains the investigator’s conclusions and recommendations and is submitted to the court as a tool to assist the Judge in making a ruling regarding custody arrangements.

Disputed Custody Forms